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Conflict of National Identity in Sudan

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Kuel Jok

This study addresses the contemporary conflict of national identity in Sudan between the adherents of Islamic nationalism and those of customary secularism. The former urge the adoption of a national constitution that derives its civil and criminal laws from the Sharia, and want Arabic as the language of instruction in national institutions. The latter demand the adoption of secular laws, derived from the set of customary laws, and equal opportunities for all African languages beside Arabic and English. In the past, the adherents of Islamic nationalism imposed the Islamic-Arab model. In reaction, secularists resorted to violence; the Islamists declared Jihad against the secularists and adopted a racial war, which has caused a humanitarian disaster. The main primary material of this research is based on a survey conducted among 500 students of five universities in Sudan. Besides, the study considers the diverse theoretical models for the formation of a nation-state, where diversity is not discouraged, but states apply laws to promote religious and ethnic diversities within one territorial state.

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Introduction .................................................................................................... 17 Research Strategy ........................................................................................... 25 Aim of study and Researcher’s position .................................................... 25 Qualitative research ................................................................................... 28 Survey ........................................................................................................ 29 Plan, analysis and literature ....................................................................... 33 1 Theoretical Framework and Sudanese Conflicting Nationalism .............. 41 1.1 Ethnic territorial nationalism .............................................................. 53 1.2 Ethnic territorial national pluralism ................................................... 59 2 Origin of Racial Exclusion and Inclusion in Sudan .................................. 61 2.1 Project of Canal Jonglei and interpretations of its objectives ............ 66 2.1.1 Economic benefits and insecurity ............................................. 67 2.1.2 Cultural xenophobia and ecology .............................................. 69 2.2 Racism in social structures ................................................................. 71 2.2.1 Stereotype of the ‘lost brothers’ ................................................. 74 2.2.2 Logic of stereotypes ................................................................... 77 3 Reconstruction of Diversities in Sudan ..................................................... 79 3.1 Civilised Muslim Arabs of North Sudan and internal conflicts ........ 80 3.1.1 Discrimination against the Nuba ............................................... 84 3.1.1.1 Resistance against marginalisation ............................... 86 3.1.1.2 Innocence of Islam and Conflict between the Church and the Government ................................... 88 3.1.2 Darfur and the origin of religious (in)tolerance ........................ 92 3.1.2.1 Territorial and power reconstructions in Darfur .......... 94 3.1.2.2 Ideological conflicts and racism in Darfur ................... 97 3.1.2.3 Humanitarian crisis and controversy over genocide .... 107 3.1.3 Beja Congress ............................................................................ 112 3.1.3.1 Marginalisation and assimilation of the Beja ............... 113 3.1.3.2 Prejudice against the Beja .............................................. 118 3.2 Territorial African pagans and slaves ................................................. 120 14 3.2.1 Ethnic composition of the pagans .............................................. 121 3.2.2 ‘Unsaid’ discrimination ............................................................. 121 3.2.2.1 ‘Thudan’ and Sudan ...................................................... 124 3.2.2.2 Promises of equality and federal system ...................... 130 3.2.2.3 Status of women in Sudan ............................................. 131 3.2.2.4 (In)compatibility of religions ........................................ 134 4 Dilemma between Islam and Wealth ......................................................... 141 4.1 Islamic-Arabic and skin colour ........................................................... 151 4.2 Brown and black skin colours...

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